If you remember, a couple weeks ago I publicly declared that this summer would be a summer of pure fun. I continued seeking fun this weekend on a very special trip to see a very dear friend in Eastern Washington (hi ang!). You guys. I had so. much. fun. I took some pictures to share because Eastern Washington (and Central/Eastern Oregon) are an entirely differently world from Western Oregon/Washington, where I live, and usually hang out.
The east side of the Pacific NW is brown. And, I mean, very. very. brown.
All the visible green here is fields. Growing up, I really disliked this area. I was a green snob. We used to have to drive right through here to get to my grandparents house. I thought it was so boring. But now that I'm older and wiser (ha!), I've learned to appreciate different landscapes, and I actually think this is incredibly beautiful now.
One of the BEST features of this region is that it is quickly becoming a world class wine area. So, what are two ladies to do with a Saturday afternoon in the middle of wine country? Go wine tasting, of course! :)
The grapes grown in this region are vastly different from the grapes grown in the Willamette Valley. I posted about my Willamette Valley wine tasting adventures here. But, they are amazing.
The regions focus is really deep full-bodied reds. Which, IMHO, when done well are so amazing. BUT, I also learned that Chardonney doesn't have to be utterly disgusting. YAH!
Oh, and by the way, it's sunny here all year round (hence the brown). It was AH-MAZ-ING. (And, yep, we're cute! ;) Don't worry, we didn't just drink ... we hiked too! Oh, and we'll not talk about the altitude difference and how I panicked because I couldn't believe I was THAT out of shape. Mmmmkay? :)
On the way home I did something that I haven't done in YEARS. I went on a little adventure by myself. Do you guys ever do this? When I was single, if I wanted to do something or go somewhere I just hopped in the car and went. But since I LOVE spending time with Chris, I've been sharing adventures with him since we met. I was all alone on Sunday, thought, and I didn't have to be home at any certain time, so I took the LONG way home, played tourist, and had the most amazing afternoon. I really believe that some alone time is good for the soul.
As you might know, the might Columbia River separates Oregon from Washington. It's GORGEOUS. And, the fastest way to drive up *the Gorge* is by freeway on the Oregon side. So, I decided to head home on the Washington side via two-lane highway. It was lovely. I stopped whenever I pleased and took photos and checked out tourists sights. The land in the photos above is actually Oregon.
Doesn't this house look like it was plucked out of a Jane Austin novel? I love how this picture shows such contrast between the lush house grounds and the stark barren desert. It's a museum, and since I was in no hurry and playing tourist, I poked around there for a bit. It was lovely.
I thought I'd show you the contrast between the different regions of the Columbia River Gorge. This is still east. It's about 2 hours away from Portland.
This is an hour away from Portland, in Hood River. I posted about our trip here a couple weeks ago.
And this is about 20 minutes outside of Portland. Isn't it amazing how progressively green the landscape becomes as you head West? It's quite a sight when you're driving it all in one shot.
All-in-all, I had necessary girlfriend time and necessary alone time all in one weekend. It was PERFECT! And, I came back so refreshed and recharged.
So, friends, what about you guys?! On the landscape debate, where do you lean: green vs. brown. And, how do you feel about going on adventures by yourself? Do you find them awesome and sorta liberating? Or just completely lonely and sad? :)